As of my last update in September 2021, the Ethiopian Minjar wedding ceremony, also known as Meskel Abo, is a traditional wedding celebration in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. It is named after the Minjar flowers, which bloom around the time of the Meskel holiday (celebrated on September 27th).
The Minjar wedding ceremony is a vibrant and colorful event that typically lasts for several days and involves various rituals and festivities. Here are some key aspects of the Minjar wedding ceremony:
- Preparation: The families of the bride and groom make elaborate preparations for the wedding, including selecting the date and inviting guests. They also prepare traditional Ethiopian dishes for the celebration.
- Meskel Abo: The wedding usually takes place during the Meskel holiday, which commemorates the finding of the True Cross by Empress Helena in the 4th century. The holiday involves the lighting of a large bonfire called “Damera,” and this aspect often becomes part of the wedding celebration.
- Gathering of Guests: Family members, friends, and other community members gather at the bride’s home to celebrate the wedding. The event can be quite large, with many guests attending.
- Dancing and Singing: Traditional Ethiopian music and dance play a significant role in the Minjar wedding ceremony. Guests participate in joyful dances and sing traditional songs to celebrate the union of the couple.
- Gift-giving: It is customary for guests to bring gifts for the couple. These gifts can be in the form of money, livestock, household items, or other valuable offerings.
- Traditional Attire: The bride and groom wear traditional Ethiopian clothing for the ceremony. The bride might wear a white dress called a “Zuria” and adorn herself with jewelry and accessories, while the groom wears a white shirt and pants, often accompanied by a shawl called a “Netela.”
- Religious Ceremony: The wedding may include a religious ceremony performed by a priest. Ethiopia is predominantly Christian, so the ceremony may be conducted in an Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
- Feasting: A grand feast is an essential part of the Minjar wedding ceremony. Guests are treated to a variety of delicious Ethiopian dishes, including injera (a sourdough flatbread) served with various stews and side dishes.